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Bloody Elbow 2019 Year-End MMA Awards - Newcomer of the Year

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Make your pick for the best newcomer of 2019 in Bloody Elbow’s Year-End Awards.

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Rozenstruik Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s back!

Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in the MMA world over the course of 2019. There will be a total of eight different categories you’ll be asked to vote on. For the sake of simplicity we’re going to stick with high-level and relevant MMA stuff in these posts. While I’m sure there was a ludicrous knockout in an unscheduled MMA event at The Lumberyard strip club in Des Moines, or an insane pancreas lock submission on an obscure ZST! card in Japan, let’s just stick to stuff a lot of us have seen, okay? (If that spiel looked familiar, it’s because I’ve used the same one for nine years in a row. Originality? What originality? Also, is ZST! even a thing any more?)

It’s pretty simple. I’ll post 5-10 options in a category, you vote for what you think was the best. If you think I left something really important off my list, post it in the comments and we can add it to the poll if it’s deemed worthy. I can almost guarantee you won’t like all my suggestions, but narrowing down these lists is tough.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get onto the third poll - the best newcomer of 2019. The rule for this is simple - a fighter has to enter a major organization for the first time in 2019 and do well. That’s it.

Before that though, if you haven’t yet, go back and vote on the first two categories - Best Submission and Biggest Upset.

Ciryl Gane - The French fighter has only been a pro for a year and a half, but has a solid 6-0 record already. Three of those wins came in the UFC, all in the last four months. He picked up two stoppages and a decision, and earned his way into the UFC rankings.

Jake Hager - The former WWE superstar and current enforcer for Chris Jericho in AEW decided to venture into MMA, and made his debut in January with a quick arm-triangle submission win. He used the same move to win his second fight in May. Finally, he was handily winning a bout against Anthony Garrett in October, but an unintentional groin strike caused his opponent to bow out and the fight was ruled a No Contest.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik - The fighter from Suriname made quite and impression in the UFC this year, picking up four thudding KO victories. After KOing former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski, Rozenstruik was inserted as a late replacement in a headlining bout against Alistair Overeem. He was mostly controlled over the five rounds, but managed to drop and finish The Reem with just four seconds left in the fight. He currently sits at number five in the heavyweight rankings.

Patrick Mix - Two promotions, three fights, three submission wins. The undefeated Mix made his Bellator debut in June, picking up a 66-second RNC victory over veteran Ricky Bandejas. Next was a first-round kneebar win over Isaiah Chapman. Finally, he went overseas to the Rizin/Bellator cross-promotion event on NYE, where he stopped Yuki Motoya in under two minutes.

Amanda Ribas - After a delayed start to her UFC career, she stopped Emily Whitmire in her debut, then took a decision over Makenzie Dern in October. She’ll face a big challenge next when she meets Paige VanZant in March.

Poll

Who is the MMA newcomer of the year for 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Ciryl Gane
    (306 votes)
  • 5%
    Jake Hager
    (101 votes)
  • 70%
    Jairzinho Rozenstruik
    (1199 votes)
  • 2%
    Patrick Mix
    (47 votes)
  • 3%
    Amanda Ribas
    (57 votes)
1710 votes total Vote Now